Medical History Tour

Join The Real Mary King’s Close for a special tour that explores Edinburgh’s rich medical history.

Tour Guide dressed in plague doctor outfit for the medical tour at The Real Mary Kings Close
Add to

Royal Mile

6th July - 27th July
Adult: £27.00; Child (5 – 15 years): £22.00 per person

Venue Key Features


Venue Accessibility

Accessible toilets

This unique 1 hour guided tour takes you on a compelling journey down the only preserved 17th century street in Edinburgh, Mary King’s Close. You will walk in the footsteps of the city’s past residents, exploring the remarkable evolution of medical practices.

Delve deeper you into the darkest days of Edinburgh’s history, the Plague outbreak of 1645, and discover how the city confronted this devastating epidemic.

One of the tour’s highlights is the tale of Dr Arnott, a physician who called Mary King’s Close home. Prepare to be both fascinated and somewhat astounded as you hear about his unconventional method of diagnosing patients – tasting their urine! The tour also sheds light on midwives, known as “Howdies.” These women, lacking formal medical education, depended on ancestral knowledge handed down through generations.

As you walk through time, you’ll discover how whisky and gin weren’t just indulgent spirits but also essential components of early medical treatments. The medicinal uses of these drinks offer a fascinating glimpse into the innovative approaches that were employed in the past.

The Medical History Tour promises not only to educate but also to inspire, leaving you with a sense of wonder and curiosity about the future of medicine.

Tours take place at regular intervals on 06, 13, 20 and 27 July 2024.

Further information and booking details can be found on Medical History Tour.